I'm just back from Spain and Germany, and I am astounded at how MP3 players are overpriced. Basically, our $ prices over here in North America are equal to the Euro prices over there, and higher.
For example, the 1GB iPod Shuffle is $49 in Canada and e49 in Europe -- about 50% more. Before my last trip overseas, I bought an 8GB Sony Walkman MP3 player for $139. The 4GB models tend to be priced at e139 in Europe -- about double to 4GB price back home.
Perhaps that's why iPod knockoffs are popular in Europe. I saw models that looked just like iPod Shuffles and Nanos in Barcelona and Andorra. I think the brand name was Yippe.
Standing in front of a glass case of MP3 players at Frankfurt airport, I got into conversation with a woman from Calgary. I commented that the prices were expensive. She said that she is forever losing her MP3 players, and ideally would like several 1GB Shuffles: one with music for jogging, and so on.
I pointed to the Sony Walkwan in the case that was similar to the one I just bought. She laughed and said something along the lines of not being that advanced. "I still like the old fashioned iPods," she said.
Interesting potential problem for Apple: iPods have been dominant for "so long" that they are seen as old fashioned, compared to the "new" names in the industry, like Sony Walkman, SanDisk, and Zune.
(I suspect many today have no idea that the Walkman brand is the really old one. It is the original compact music device, a radio-cassette that Sony made portable by leaving out the speakers -- 29 years ago. Ironically, the one Sony Walkman cassette-radio I owned featured stereo mini speakers.)